Author Interview - Daryl J. Ball
My interview this week is with Fantasy Author, Daryl J. Ball.
Daryl has published three books, two of which are a part of a series.
Read on to discover more about Daryl's journey as an author and learn a little about his personal life.
About Writing/Books/Being an Author
1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you - in what way and what was the name of that book?
I read a lot as a kid, and I think everything we read impacts us in different ways so this is kind of hard to nail down. I can say though that it was somewhere around Grade 6 that I read “The Screwtape Letters” by C. S. Lewis and that it ultimately led to my becoming the librarian at my church at the time despite my youth. I’m pretty sure it had some long-term impact on how I view things, but I don’t think I really realized its impact until I was writing my first book, The Tannis Project. The Screwtape Letters was written as a series of ongoing correspondence between a senior demon and his nephew. It’s considered an epistolary novel. It is the only one of that style I can ever recall reading until recently and The Tannis Project which is a series of blog posts written by a vampire can also be considered an epistolary novel.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?
I realized it pretty early on, but I know for sure I recall really enjoying creative writing in school. I’m positive it pre-dates that though.
3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?
I’m going to try and keep this list short best I can because there are so many. Ilona Andrews, Sir Terry Pratchett, R.R. Virdi, Tom Holt, Piers Anthony, D.R. Perry, Connie Willis, Kelly Blanchard, Robert Asprin, C. S. Lewis, I’m going to stop here as that’s already ten names, but I could go on.
4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?
My favourite thing is coming up with the idea. My least favourite is making revisions to the manuscript.
5. Where do your ideas come from?
I’ll have thought of a character and then I’ll sit down and think what experiences they must have had in life to make them the way they are. Showing a part of that journey becomes the basis of my stories. I want to explore what shapes them. It’s an approach that dates back to when I played Dungeons & Dragons for a bit as a teenager.
6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?
I think I might be the exception to the multiple talent thing.
7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?
As an observer that is completely safe from any harm? Probably any of the Discworld novels by the late Sir Terry Pratchett. Just a chance to walk around in that world would be quite the experience I think.
8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?
Almost all of my characters seem to be made up of aspects of people that I’ve met over the years. There are a few though that I’m not sure who they could be even remotely based on.
9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?
No, but I did encounter someone the first time I was selling books that claimed my book sounded like their life story and that they were a vampire, complete with them trying to avoid sunlight and hissing.
10. How do you come up with titles for your books?
I honestly don’t know. The working title just sort of pops into my head and usually it remains the final title, although sometimes I make slight alterations. The Tannis Project’s working title was The Kayla Project. Putting the main character’s name Tannis in the title was decided on just before the cover was commissioned.
11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?
I’m currently writing the first draft of a sequel to my book The Tannis Project. Where as the first book explored a bit about vampires and their capabilities as seen through the eye of a vampire, the sequel dives a bit more into similar creatures found in different countries and how they might all be connected (within the world it’s set in). It’s a lot of research as I look through countless myths and find what makes each vampire-like creature different while also finding things they all have in common. The other main aspect of this story is that this sequel is being conveyed by a boy in his teens. The goal is to have it ready for release sometime in late 2020.
12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?
My book, Son of No One, won 2nd place in the Fantasy category in an online vote called Virtual Fantasycon on Facebook in 2018.
A Little More Personal
13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?
Just one? Hmm, travel outside of North America. As for where specifically, I have a very long list and would be glad to go to any of the places on it.
14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?
In grade 2 my teacher had the same name as someone I knew from church. I had heard they were pregnant and so had made sure as a good student to get my teacher a gift. Turns out it was the person from church with that name who was pregnant, not my teacher.
15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?
Yes, but I don’t have a clear enough memory of it anymore to be able to write it down.
16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?
I’m not overly superstitious and no rituals that I’m consciously aware of.
17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
Christmas fruit cake. There is something very weird about it being considered food.
18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?
I used to like being up in the Bancroft area visiting my grandmother and have lots of kin in that area. I have not been up there since the mid-90s though when she passed away. That and I no longer enjoy the outdoors as much. Both heavily contributed to that.
19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?
The day my baby sister was brought home from the hospital, and I got to hold her.
20. What makes you happy?
Cats doing cute cat things.
21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?
Pretty much everything is writing related in some way, even sleeping.
22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?
Not famous but I have met several authors who I hope will become famous.